Richard Frank Massingale, 69, of Auburn, Washington, passed peacefully away on July 24, 2019 at his home outside of Auburn. A memorial service will be held at the Enumclaw VFW on July 28, 2019 at 12 p.m.
Richard was born in Abilene, Texas to George and Doris (Bebout) Massingale on April 3, 1950. He attended schools in Riverton, Wyoming, Butte, Montana, Kimball, Nebraska,, and finally Enumclaw, Washington where he attended Enumclaw Junior High and High School. Richard worked for Weyerhauser for a number of years. He found some of his best stories during his time there; he loved to talk about working the overhead crane, the train that ran up the mountain, and his time roaming the forest. Richard injured his back, which caused his time at Weyerhauser to come to an end. He went back to school, earned his GED, and completed a course to earn his Boiler Operators License. In 1982, Richard began working at Valley Medical Center, where he would work for 31 years as a boiler operator, plant engineer, and general all-around fix-it guy. He said many times that he’d worked on every piece of the hospital. Richard was a proud member (and sometimes shop steward) of the International Union of Operating Engineers and a proud Democrat.
Richard loved life. He enjoyed roaring around in the woods in Bumblebee, his FJ Cruiser. He rode in several Courage Classic bicycle rides with his good friends, Stan and Lorna Dewitt. Richard loved to learn. He read extensively – and remembered most of what he read. In later years, he loved watching nature shows, space programs, ocean exploration shows, and British antique roadshows. Richard rarely missed watching a Mariners game (even this year!) or a Seahawks game.
Richard is survived by his wife of 50 years, Nancy (Davis); his son, Russell; his daughter, Sheila; his sister, Ruth (John) Hall; his three granddaughters, Meghan (26), Alex (23), and Kelley (20); and multiple nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, Doris (1991) and George (1993) and his aunt, Helen Bebout (2017).
Richard’s eldest granddaughter said it best: “I still don’t quite have the words or thoughts to grasp what’s going on but this morning the world lost the most stubborn, strong willed, young hearted, gentle, and big, kind hearted man I have ever known. My grandfather, Grumpy, has always been one of the most important people in my life. He’s taught me the most about life while also teaching me that “Just because you have to get older doesn’t mean you have to grow up!” He taught me to be selfless as he was always the first person to go out of his way to help someone else but also taught me that you need to say what’s on your mind and stand up for yourself as well.”
A memorial service was held Sunday, July 28. Memorial donations may be made to VFW Post 1949, P.O. Box 14, Enumclaw, WA 98022. Please share a memory on the tribute wall at www.weeksfuneralhomes.com.